Poltalloch is one of the most significant pastoral properties on Lake Alexandrina. The original buildings date from the 1840s, with the newer homestead constructed in the 1870s. For many years transport for this isolated station was limited to boats crossing the Lake from Milang.
The property was first taken up by Neill Malcolm, a Scottish landowner, in 1839. He sent out a manager and named the estate Poltalloch after the Malcolm family home in Argyllshire. Malcolm originally planned to have Scottish peasants settle the land but, when this failed, the lakeside station was stocked with beef cattle and a substantial homestead was constructed.
Poltalloch continued under a manager for nearly 35 years until 1874, when it was taken up by John Bowman. He developed it into a thriving sheep station and constructed a substantial new homestead and other buildings west of the 1840s settlement. These buildings were laid out to resemble a small English village, with the ‘village green’ extending to the shore of Lake Alexandrina.
The first of the new buildings was the most important – a large iron and stone shearing shed that accommodated 22 shearers. It included a unique double-arched roof that allowed for a greater expanse without using timber. In 1904 a record 26,000 sheep were shorn in the woolshed.
Work began on the new homestead, a grand Victorian mansion. In 1876 and as completed three years later. The dressed stone was transported to the site by boat.
The Point Malcolm Lighthouse and the original and later Poltalloch homesteads are significant State Heritage Places protected by the Heritage Places Act 1993.
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Published with permission of Government of South Australia, Department for Environment and Heritage